Introduction

A faulty motherboard can lead to a myriad of performance issues. Use this guide to help you replace a damaged or malfunctioning motherboard.

In the following steps you will release the clips (highlighted in red) along the perimeter of the Nexus 7's rear panel.
  • In the following steps you will release the clips (highlighted in red) along the perimeter of the Nexus 7's rear panel.

  • Do not use excessive force while prying the clips. They can be easily broken.

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Gently insert a plastic opening tool near the top of the Nexus 7 between the rear panel and the front panel assembly. Carefully run the plastic opening tool along the top edge to pry the rear panel away from the front panel assembly of the Nexus 7.
  • Gently insert a plastic opening tool near the top of the Nexus 7 between the rear panel and the front panel assembly.

  • Carefully run the plastic opening tool along the top edge to pry the rear panel away from the front panel assembly of the Nexus 7.

My Nexus 7 looks nothing like this. These instructions are horrible as they do not work.

Andy Garcia - Reply

Insert the plastic opening tool between the rear panel and the front panel assembly near the power button and pry up at several points along the right edge of the Nexus 7. Insert the plastic opening tool between the rear panel and the front panel assembly near the power button and pry up at several points along the right edge of the Nexus 7. Insert the plastic opening tool between the rear panel and the front panel assembly near the power button and pry up at several points along the right edge of the Nexus 7.
  • Insert the plastic opening tool between the rear panel and the front panel assembly near the power button and pry up at several points along the right edge of the Nexus 7.

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Pry up the rear panel along the left edge using the method described in previous steps. Pry up the rear panel along the left edge using the method described in previous steps. Pry up the rear panel along the left edge using the method described in previous steps.
  • Pry up the rear panel along the left edge using the method described in previous steps.

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Gently lift and remove the rear panel up off the front panel assembly. Gently lift and remove the rear panel up off the front panel assembly.
  • Gently lift and remove the rear panel up off the front panel assembly.

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Using the tip of a spudger, push first on one side then the other to "walk" the battery cable straight out of its socket on the motherboard. Using the tip of a spudger, push first on one side then the other to "walk" the battery cable straight out of its socket on the motherboard.
  • Using the tip of a spudger, push first on one side then the other to "walk" the battery cable straight out of its socket on the motherboard.

I have the newer version of Nexus and the battery connection inside is different from pictured here. I can't seem to get any part of the connector backed out. Any further details about how to accomplish this step?

indianowen31 - Reply

After my post I tried it again, and realized the connector comes straight UP, not OUT. Once I went this direction, the process was simple.

indianowen31 - Reply

I followed this, everything worked fine. Even though the battery is now charging, the OS doesn't recognise when the USB cable is connected to a wall socket or a PC. The battery icon when the tablet is shut down shows charging so it works, but the OS in itself doesn't seem to know about it...any ideas?

/D

Daniel Zakrisson - Reply

Thanks for your guide. It makes the process very straightforward. Easier than I was expecting.

Les Gordon - Reply

Superb easy to follow guide. Thanks greatly, the nexus 7 lives on ! Just need to patiently wait for it charging now !

stuart - Reply

Yes, this is a really helpful guide. I wouldn't have had a clue without it, but it all turned out to be very simple. Thanks a lot!

Ian Gibson - Reply

I managed to break one of the two small golden pins to the right of the battery cable (obscured by the tool in the picture above).

Is this terminal (sorry for the pun)?

I tried re-assembling (without screwing the assembly back to the bezel) and the display doesn't work.

gravelld - Reply

Step 6 could be much clearer. I thought it meant to pry the connector upward, away from the surface. When I did this, all the pins broke off. The correct procedure would appear to be to slide the connector along the surface toward the wire side and battery, leaving the pins at parallel to the surface.

Unfortunately I don't think my Nexus 7 is salveagable now.

Warren Harris - Reply

Watching a YouTube video helped. Dislodge the battery first, then pull the battery away from the connector and the connector will become dislodged quite easily.

d_ratner_1999 - Reply

Peel back the copper ESD shielding covering the bottom of the motherboard.
  • Peel back the copper ESD shielding covering the bottom of the motherboard.

  • Do not try to remove the copper shielding, as it is still attached underneath the battery.

  • If you're just replacing the micro usb charge port, there is no need to peel back the copper heatsink like in the photo, the speaker assembly can simply be moved out of the way once unscrewed. If the speakers are to be replaced simply peel back the bottom corner to expose the speaker connection. Leave the rest of the heatsink shield alone.

Peel back the copper heat spreader for the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor

Jack J - Reply

Using the tip of a spudger, push the speaker cable straight out of its socket on the motherboard.
  • Using the tip of a spudger, push the speaker cable straight out of its socket on the motherboard.

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Peel back the label covering the power and volume button ZIF connector.
  • Peel back the label covering the power and volume button ZIF connector.

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Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the power and volume button ribbon cable ZIF socket. Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flap, not the socket itself.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the power and volume button ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pull the power and volume button ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

Looking to purchase a power & volume cable strip?

Mike Patrick - Reply

Carefully peel back the adhesive tape covering the I/O board ribbon cable socket on the motherboard. Carefully peel back the adhesive tape covering the I/O board ribbon cable socket on the motherboard.
  • Carefully peel back the adhesive tape covering the I/O board ribbon cable socket on the motherboard.

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Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the I/O data ribbon cable ZIF socket. Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flap, not the socket itself.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the I/O data ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pull the I/O data ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

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Peel back the adhesive tape covering the display and digitizer cable sockets.
  • Peel back the adhesive tape covering the display and digitizer cable sockets.

  • It is not necessary to completely remove the adhesive, but it is helpful to fold it back on itself to get it out of the way.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the display data cable straight up off its socket on the motherboard.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the display data cable straight up off its socket on the motherboard.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flaps on the digitizer ribbon cable ZIF sockets. Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flaps, not the sockets themselves. Use the tip of a spudger to pull the digitizer ribbon cable straight out of its socket.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flaps on the digitizer ribbon cable ZIF sockets.

  • Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flaps, not the sockets themselves.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pull the digitizer ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

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Use the tip of a spudger to remove the warranty seal stickers. Use the tip of a spudger to remove the warranty seal stickers.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to remove the warranty seal stickers.

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Remove the following screws securing the motherboard to the metal frame:
  • Remove the following screws securing the motherboard to the metal frame:

    • Six 3.25 mm silver Phillips screws

    • One 2.23 mm black Phillips screw

I found for the screws it is one PH#000 and six PH#00

kateumf - Reply

Carefully lift the motherboard assembly out of the Nexus 7, minding any cables that may get caught. Carefully lift the motherboard assembly out of the Nexus 7, minding any cables that may get caught.
  • Carefully lift the motherboard assembly out of the Nexus 7, minding any cables that may get caught.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the front-facing camera straight off of its socket on the motherboard.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the front-facing camera straight off of its socket on the motherboard.

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Carefully pull the upper microphone straight up off its socket. In a similar fashion, remove the rubber lower microphone gasket from the motherboard.
  • Carefully pull the upper microphone straight up off its socket.

  • In a similar fashion, remove the rubber lower microphone gasket from the motherboard.

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Motherboard remains.
  • Motherboard remains.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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Brett Hartt

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15 Comments

Very helpful and 100% accurate. Thanks

PC452 - Reply

I agree - very good guide, and perfect to have all those high-res photos! For reassembly, make sure you insert the ZIF cables all the way before locking them - at first try my touch-screen did not work. Another attempt at inserting the digitizer ribbon cable did the trick.

Lars L - Reply

Very good guide.

When peeling back the tape in various steps, it's quite easy to tear it and the replacement motherboard I had didn't come with any new tape. I used electrical tape to secure the cables and components as they were originally and it seemed to work fine.

Additionally, since my broken unit had been unused for a while, the battery was totally dead. It took a while for it to show signs of life (left it plugged in for 30+ minutes) and I found that holding the power button and pressing the volume down button together for a few minutes also helped to bring it back into action.

Tariq Khokhar - Reply

How long did you need to hold down the power buttons? Literally minutes, or was it 1 min or 20 sec or something like that?

My Nexus 7 2012 sat unused for probably 6+ months. I replaced the motherboard following these directions, and have triple-checked that everything is connected correctly. The battery is getting charge--the wall plug and device feel warm when it's plugged in. However, unable to get any response out of the device. I've held all combinations of buttons (I seem to remember getting into boot mode with volume up + power) but nothing happens.

jesvanv -

Worked for me guys. Awesome guide! What do you do with the old motherboard- trash basically?

cfclay - Reply

I noticed that the chassis has what appears to be a mounting point for a rearward facing camera. If my observation is correct, can we 'update' our 2012s' by adding the camera?

tgolightly - Reply

Is the NAND problem the same across all Nexus 7 2012 motherboards? Assuming the NAND flash is attached to the MB. I have a 8gb version that is now excruciatingly slow, factory wipes do not speed it up with no apps installed. Keyboard takes forever to show up. Loading apps and changing apps takes just as long. It is primarily a platform test device so it is handy to know if the app will run on a crazy slow machine. Was toying with the idea of swapping in a new MB to change out the NAND and perhaps get 2012 performance once again.

irongamer - Reply

I had slow N7v1 8GB on my hands. Ordered replacement board with larger capacity, replaced it, and the tablet is still dog-slow.

ebelin -

Is it safe to order motherboard from there website bcoz it says 'used & tested'..??

abhishek - Reply

I just completed this replacement process, and everything went great.

The only variance between this guide and reality was the metal shroud (looks like a sideways Utah) right above the data cable (as seen in step 14 above) did not come on the replacement motherboard, so I popped it off the old one and fitted it to the prongs on the replacement.

Brought my old, dead Nexus 7 back to life, including upgrading from the 16M to 32M.

greykher - Reply

Brilliant guide worked perfectly, thank you for creating and sharing these.

For the screws it is one PH#000 and six PH#00

kateumf - Reply

Wondering about trying this myself as mine is not useless as a result of a software upgrade.

I had heard that it needs some software to get it up and running - or does it just reboot and update itself?

Thanks

Barry Wollaston - Reply

Happy, happy! This was an easy and quick install. Everything matched up and started right up. My only mistake was I signed into my current Google email account and it proceeded to install all the apps from my Samsung Galaxy Tab S. Not a big deal I just deleted them all. I guess when you are starting out new (motherboard) you should create a new Google email account. It also installed 5.1 Lollipop version. Originally I had Kit Kat 4.4.4. So far no issues with this version.

Jan Russo - Reply

My N7/2012 became useless it appears after an update to I think 5.1.1. Wouldn't charge beyond 34% no matter after how much time also would freeze or reboot eventually to just the Google splash screen. Tried hard resets and all. Finally no response no matter how long I hold down the buttons. Already spent for a new battery and charging port (uninstalled) before the complete breakdown. Does anyone know if replacing the motherboard at $40>50 might have any positive impact or should I just trash the thing.

Thanks

rob young - Reply

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